New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced Wednesday the city’s first annual Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Cultural and Heritage Parade will be held in Manhattan this weekend.
The parade, which will honor AAPI Heritage month, is set for this Sunday at 10:45 a.m. and is expected to travel up 6th Avenue from West 44th Street to West 55th Street.
The celebration highlights the Big Apple as the home of the second-largest AAPI population in the U.S. and will pay tribute to the Asian community amid the wave of anti-Asian attacks and hate crimes since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebrates New Yorkers who contribute to the rich culture that makes New York the greatest city in the world,” Mayor Adams said in a statement. “As we work to combat a spike in hate crimes, it is important to support and uplift our AAPI brothers and sisters. We are proud to announce New York City’s first annual Asian American and Pacific Islander Cultural and Heritage Parade and pay tribute to the generations of New Yorkers from the Asian and Pacific diaspora.”
New York City saw an alarming 361% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes as of December last year. Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition that tracks anti-Asian attacks, reported 10,370 incidents between March 19, 2020 and Sept. 30, 2021.
According to recent data released last month by the New York City Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force, reported hate crimes against Asians have so far decreased by 32% from Jan. 1 through April 10 of this year as compared to the same time period last year.
“In these pandemic times and with Anti-Asian intolerance, division, and hatred on the rise, it is so important for all of us to come together to celebrate our collective humanity – in a rare historic parade – as it is about time that we march together with each other to show our solidarity,” Wellington Z. Chen, executive director of the Chinatown Business Improvement District, said.
The event will take place the day after the city’s first Japan Day parade at Manhattan’s Central Park West, which is set for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday and will honor Japanese American heritage.
“When I first came to New York City, working as a peddler in Manhattan, I remember being amazed at the Puerto Rican Day Parade, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and the Columbus Day Parade,” John Park, founder of the Korean American Community Empowerment Council, said. “I never dreamed I would one day lead Korean New Yorkers down sixth avenue for the first Asian Pacific American Heritage Parade. I thank Mayor Adams for finally giving Asian New Yorkers the celebration we deserve!”